Wonders of Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, which includes citronella, pennyroyal, peppermint, and spearmint (although spearmint doesn’t contain menthol). It is a fragrant herb grown easily in temparate climates.
Parts Used: Leaves (infused or crushed) and their essential oil.
Attributes: Contains menthol, volatile oils, antioxidants, flavonoids, and tannins. The mints are antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic.
Uses: Lemon balm can be used as a substitute for lemon oil for furniture polish, and mints in general freshen the air. Mints are excellent pest repellents–pennyroyal and citronella are famous examples–and especially repel mice, mosquitoes, and fleas.
Where to Find: Available in health food stores and from herb suppliers.
Caution: Pregnant women should not use pennyroyal. The essential oil of pennyroyal is highly toxic and should not be taken internally.
< em>From Eco-Clean Deck, 50 Recipes for Nontoxic Household Cleaners, by Annie B. Bond.
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).